January 13-14, 2023

21 Tevet 5783

Shalom AKSE Congregants and Friends of AKSE:

The Torah portion this Shabbat is Shemot, the first portion of the second book of the ChumashWe hope to welcome you at our in-person Shabbat services. The Kabbalat Shabbat service on Friday starts at 6 p.m. Shabbat morning services are at 9 a.m. Saturday. Shabbat afternoon services (Mincha/Ma'ariv) are at 4:30 p.m. Saturday this week.


Our third rabbi candidate, Rabbi Pinchas Pearl, is visiting us this Shabbat. Please plan to attend at least one of the services or activities. For those unable to attend in person, Rabbi Pearl will be teaching a class immediately after Shabbat (starting at 5:45 p.m.) that will also be available via Zoom. See details below and in the newsletter. Then provide feedback on all 3 candidates who have visited to the Rabbi Search Committee at a Zoom meeting on Sunday, January 15 at 7 p.m.

This Shabbat's printed newsletter, which will be available at services, may also be viewed online here. You will find candle lighting, service and Havdalah times, service leaders, Torah and Haftorah readings, and this week's condolences and Yahrzeits there.

Please note that the Immanuel Church has an event this Saturday at the same time as our Shabbat morning services. All parking spots in front of our building are being reserved for our use, which we expect to be sufficient. However, it is possible that latecomers will need to utilize overflow parking locations described here.


Our new COVID policy took effect on January 1. Masking is voluntary (recommended but not required) and COVID vaccination or booster is required within the last 12 months. See the December or January Shofar for details. We urge attendees at services to continue wearing masks during this time when the incidence of COVID is high.


The second film in the Education Committee's Winter Film Fest. "The Jews and the Blues," is this week. The online viewing window is January 14-17, followed by a film discussion via Zoom on January 17 at 7 p.m. led by Irene Plotzker. Details below. Congregants received an email on Monday with access information for viewing the film. This access information will also be in a reminder email that congregants will receive at the beginning of the viewing window Saturday evening.

Please note several important community events at the end of January and the beginning of February:

  • Federation Shabbat - Friday, Jan. 27 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Federation Super Sunday - Sunday, Jan. 29 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Town Hall Zoom webinar to report results of 2022 Delaware Jewish Community Study - Tuesday, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m.
  • Delaware Synagogues Game Night - Saturday, Feb. 4 at 7 p.m.

See details below in the Community Events section.

Shabbat Shalom!


Martin Cohn

AKSE President


Rabbi Pinchas Pearl is visiting AKSE this Shabbat. A letter was sent to congregants with details, and there are also details in the printed newsletter available here. He will participate in

  • Kabbalat Shabbat services Friday at 6 PM
  • Shabbat morning services Saturday at 9 AM (followed by Kiddush Luncheon), and
  • Mincha/Ma'ariv services Saturday at 4:30 PM, including Seudah Shlishit and a discussion
  • Havdalah and a class Saturday at 5:45 PM (in-person and Zoom)

Please plan to attend at least one of these activities. For those attending Rabbi Pearl's class via Zoom, the materials for his class are available online here.


Sunday, January 15 at 7 PM via Zoom

Following the visit of Rabbi Pearl, the Rabbi Search Committee expects to move toward a recommendation for AKSE to hire one of the three candidates who has visited us. The committee wishes to weigh heavily the views of Congregants who have experienced the candidate visits.


We encourage Congregants to attend the Zoom meeting on Jan. 15 and express their views on the most recent candidate, as well as their rankings of all three candidates under consideration.


Click on this link to join the Zoom meeting: 


Alternatively, feedback may be emailed to the Search Committee at search@AKSE.org


Viewing Window Saturday to Tuesday, January 14-17 for Second Film

(An email with information to access the film "The Jews and the Blues" was sent to congregants on Monday, and a reminder email is being sent when the viewing window begins this Saturday evening)

The AKSE Education Committee is pleased to present three exciting films to members--one in December, a second in January and a third in February. Each film has a three-day viewing window for streaming online, followed by a discussion via Zoom. Access information will be emailed to members the week before the start of each viewing period.

Thanks to Scott Slomowitz for leading an engaging discussion of the first film, The Levys of Monticello. The remaining films with their respective streaming-viewing windows, discussion dates, and Discussion Leaders are: The Jews and the Blues, January 14-17 with Discussion January 17 - Irene Plotzker; and The Women’s Balcony, February 4-7, with Discussion February 7 - Sylvia Wagman. 

Here are details of the upcoming films:­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

Jews and Blues

The Jews and the Blues

Written and Directed by Drew Stone

and Evan B. Stone

USA, 2022

Genre: Documentary

Language: English

67 Minutes

Viewing window: 6 PM, Sat., Jan. 14 - 7 PM, Tues., Jan. 17 

Discussion: Tues., Jan. 17, 7 PM

Discussion leader: Irene Plotzker

Join filmmaker Drew Stone as he follows his passion for music and adventure, traveling to Israel to discover how the blues ties into this incredible mix of cultures. Arab, Ethiopian, Moroccan, all Jewish, all Israeli, united through the universal tie that binds us together ... Music.


Women's Balcony

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­The Women's Balcony

A Film by Shlomit Nehama and Emil Ben-Shimon

Israel, 2016

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Language: Hebrew (with English subtitles)

96 minutes

Viewing window: 6 PM, Sat., Feb. 4 - 7 PM, Tues., Feb. 7 

Discussion: Tues., Feb. 7, 7 PM

Discussion leader: Sylvia Wagman

When the women’s balcony in an Orthodox synagogue collapses, the congregation falls into crisis. Charismatic young Rabbi David appears to be a savior after the accident, but slowly starts pushing his fundamentalist ways, testing the women’s friendships and causing a rift between the community’s women and men.


Saturday, January 14 at 5:45 PM--Havdalah followed by class taught by visiting rabbi candidate Rabbi Pinchas Pearl (with in-person)--materials for the class are available online here

Saturday, January 14 at 6 PM to Tuesday, January 17 at 7 PM--Viewing window for online streaming of documentary film "The Jews and the Blues" (see separate email to congregation for access information)

Sunday, January 15 at 7 PM--Special meeting open to membership for feedback on rabbi candidates

Tuesday, January 17 at 7 PM--Discussion of film "The Jews and the Blues" led by Irene Plotzker

Connection to all AKSE virtual events is the same (unless otherwise indicated) - either of two options:

1) Video and Audio on PC, tablet, or smartphone

Click on this link to join Zoom meeting: 


2) Phone

Dial in to +1 646-558-8656 and input Meeting ID: 628 081 3362­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­


This Friday and Saturday, Jan. 13 & 14

PLACE: Our home at 2412 Pennsylvania Avenue, Wilmington, DE 19806. Find it on Google Maps here. Our building entrance faces the parking lot behind Immanuel Church. Park on the side of the lot in front of our building. In the rare instance that there are no available parking spots there, use overflow parking nearby in the areas described here.


Friday at 6 PM - Kabbalat Shabbat, Ma'ariv

Saturday at 9 AM - Shacharit, Torah reading, Musaf

Followed by Kiddush Luncheon cosponsored by Rabbi Search Committee in honor of Rabbi Pearl's visit and by Neil and Rhonda Shulman Lattin in honor of Neil's Bar Mitzvah anniversary

Saturday at 4:30 PM - Mincha, Seudah Shlishit, Ma'ariv

Saturday at 5:45 PM - Havdalah

Followed by class taught by Rabbi Pearl (in-person and Zoom)--materials for the class are available online here.


Tuesdays at 3:30 PM

Join us for a weekly Mincha service. The services are in the Siegel JCC Kehillah Lounge (to the left of the JCC Lobby--formerly called the Senior Lounge). Thank you to our friends at the JCC for making this space available to us.

If the weather is nice, we will hold services outside in the courtyard adjacent to the Kehillah Lounge. Please note that face masks are now recommended but not required.


Thursdays at 9 AM

We are holding Shacharit services with Torah reading on Thursday mornings, in our building at 2412 Pennsylvania Ave. Please plan to join us.

The AKSE Education Committee is continuing a new program on Shabbat mornings. Torah Talks are taking the place of sermons or Divrei Torah. These talks are being led by members of the AKSE community, as well as by members of the wider Jewish community.


A variety of formats are available to those who volunteer to lead Torah Talks: traditional Divrei Torah, short discussions of ethical or historical questions raised by the text, reflections on seasonal holidays and traditions, and talks that connect with the speakers’ personal interests and expertise in Jewish culture. Our goal is to bring variety, innovation, and creativity to Shabbat learning. Look for announcements of the speakers and topics for upcoming Torah Talks in future Shofars and email newsletters.


If you have wisdom to share, a favorite parsha to delve into, or a special interest to showcase, please get in touch with Lisa Elliott (lelliott50@comcast.net) or Harriet Ainbinder (haza@verizon.net) to schedule your Torah Talk.



The release of Ann Jaffe's memoir, "The Burden and Blessing of Memory," was announced in articles in the December issues of the Shofar and Jewish Living Delaware. It is her firsthand account of what happened to her family before, during, and after the war.

Ann's daughter Linda has informed us that, if you want to purchase the book, the best source is the publisher, Lulu.com. Proceeds from the book will benefit the Ann Jaffe Tolerance and Holocaust Education Fund, and purchasing her book from Lulu.com will maximize the amount going to this worthy cause. Click here to go directly to the page for Ann's book in Lulu.com.

Community Events

Friday, January 27 at 7:30 PM

Temple Beth El, 301 Possum Park Road, Newark, DE 19711

Services will be followed by Oneg sponsored by Jewish Federation of Delaware.

For those unable to attend in person the services will also be available virtually via ZOOM.

Please register to let us know you are planning to attend and whether you will be with us in-person or via Zoom.



Tuesday, January 31, 2023

7 PM - 8 PM

Zoom Webinar

Jewish Federation of Delaware will host a virtual Town Hall webinar to share the results of the 2022 Community Study of Jewish Delaware & the Brandywine Valley. The Study, a socio-demographic portrait of the Jewish community in Delaware and the Brandywine Valley, was prepared by an independent professional team from Brandeis University. Dr. Matt Boxer, the lead investigator, will present the highlights of our study via zoom.

There be an opportunity for questions and answers immediately following the presentation. For those unable to attend, the presentation will be recorded and posted on the Federation website. The Executive Summary, Full Report, and Appendices will also be available to download on the Federation website following the webinar.

Free and Open to the Community! Register to receive the Zoom link.


The January 2023 SHOFAR is available online.

Click here to view it in its entirety

Office Hours

Our office hours are 10 AM to 2 PM Monday to Thursday (except holidays). During these times our Office Manager will be in the office and respond promptly to emails (office@AKSE.org  and  bookkeeper@AKSE.org) and phone calls (302-762-2705).

Bring Your Shoes to Shul

Our successful shoe recycling project continues. Clean out your closets and start looking under your bed for gently used shoes. Every pair you recycle means shoes for those in need, extra funds for us, and less landfill waste. A triple mitzvah! See details here.
Purchase Gift Cards and Support AKSE

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Gift Cards Available
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Please see details here.


email:  enews@AKSE.org

web site:  http://www.AKSE.org

2412 Pennsylvania Ave.

Wilmington, DE 19806

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